Re: Your Longest Kill on Game
First of all, i would like to say that I really like this web page and am very impressed with the senior members and their advice. I want to thank everyone who participates and gives their imput. I am awed by the expertise, shooting abilities and friendliness of the responders and writers on LRH.
In the winter of '84, I happened to make the longest shots I have ever made on 3 caribou just north of Koyuk, AK on the Seward Peninsula just out of Nome. I would like to preface this story with some things that are peculiar about me. I dont like computers (although I am somewhat proficient in their use), gadgetry and excess equipment and I love simplicity in design that works. I was a physician/surgeon who was given the task to take a week out of Nome to Koyuk on a village checkup. I had bought my first high power center fire rifle 2 years earlier, a Model 70, post 64 (push feed), Winchester Westerner 300 WM. I got it brand new for $250. Although new to high power shooting, I wasnt new to hunting as I had used everything from sling shots to bows and .22's to get game since i was 4 years old. I read everything i could get my hands on about all the centerfire cartridges and their differences, strongpoints, weaknesses, etc. and i was guided by some very knowledgable and caring hunters/shooters/reloaders. To shorten a long story, this gun gave me fits till I did the poor man's free floating of the barrel and the cheapo pillar bedding (steel brake tubing) and my first trigger job (took 3 days to get it safe, 1 pound, no creep). I had been reloading for about a year and eventually found a load of 200 gr Sierra SPT at 2900 FPS that gave 1/4 inch groups at 100 yards (5 shot groups). I zeroed it for 400 yards and memorized the trajectory chart to 1000. I had a new $69 Tasco 6-18 variable scope on it and I didnt move the reticle after zeroing it to 400. Now, before you guys bust a gut too much, remember this is before many things, e.g. wheel was invented and no one even thought of putting a level on a rifle. Only a few people had ever even heard of Carlos Hathcock and NO ONE shot beyond 500 yards except the demented (maybe they still are?). The results were purely accidental and I still have not figured out how far the shots were.
It was during a cold spell in December that reached to 45 below (also the reason I dont like gadgets as the batteries last about 10 seconds and moving parts have a tendency to break, bend and otherwise malfunction) when i walked the 1/4 mile from the airport to the clinic carrying 2 rifles, a stage coach chest with medical supplies and an army surplus duffle full of hunting clothes and gear. 3 days later, the Village Police Safety Officer, Frank Kavairlook, was leading me out of Koyuk (as my guide) to the headwaters of the East fork of the Koyuk River.
Unfortunately, it was still 45 below and about 20 feet of new "powder" in that direction. We went about 75-100 miles with the last 10 miles or so nearly verticle as the powder was so deep and soft. We had picked up two of Frank's friends on the way and they were outfitted with old Win 94, 30-30's, what a lot of eskimos called a cannon. We stopped on top of a mountain peak, the only bare spot around. The sun had been down for over 4 hours but it was still light enough to shoot, barely. They had to point out the caribou to me as I hadnt even seen them. They were at the base of the NEXT mountain. About 200 or so. They were alert, anxious, but not wanting to move. They knew we were there. Frank just looked at me and shrugged. He was at a loss at what to do next. No time to snowshoe over and no way to hide anyway. I just smiled (a fool's smile), took off my coat for a rifle rest, got my 100 pack of loads out, flipped the butler creeks and spotted on a lone bull out aways from the pack. On 18 power, it was a little bit bigger than the crosshairs from a broadside position. For some reason only the Lord knows, I decided to put the crosshair 20 feet above him. A bull stands about 5 feet high at the shoulders, so i put 4 of him above him and squeezed the 1 pound trigger. Recoil, push back, resight, observe impact-10 feet under his feet, readjust to 6 caribou shoulders above and resqueeze. Impact was between the hooves. 6 1/2 over and down he went. He hadnt moved since the first shot. When he fell, the others started to mill about. 2 were still. I hit them both with a shot apiece. Meanwhile, my new friends were firing away like they had all the ammo in the world and their bullets were not even getting 1/3 the way there even at a 45* elevation.
Ok, God smiles on fools at times. No wind. 45 to 50 below. 50* angle downward. 3000 feet above sea level shooting to about 1500 feet above. Humidity was solid if any. Crystal clear, no overcast. What was the distance? I have figured and figured and can only come up with about 1300 yards. Anyone with a better guess and calculations?
I am learning so much from you guys. I can only dream of hitting that ground squirrel or dog at that range with one shot and doing all the calculations quickly. This was a meat hunt as the village and I needed the meat or I wouldnt have even taken the shot.
p.s. the tasco never moved it's zero till I moved it some years later working on a different load. It never held a zero after that and had to be discarded.
Last edited by Pistol packer; 06-22-2011 at 02:57 AM.
Reason: 2 am and tired, messed up typing what i was thinking